A few months ago I had the honour of taking my husband and I on a wedding reception in our native New Zealand.
We were expecting a small ceremony at a small hotel and that was about it.
The reception itself was an hour and a half.
We decided to go for the scenic route and we headed out to the town of New Zealand, a beautiful little island off the coast of New South Wales.
The whole experience was like a day in the life of a bride and groom.
I loved the atmosphere and the people.
A little over a month later I was invited to be a reception guest at another wedding.
This time I had no idea where I was going, and when I arrived I was not surprised to find the reception in the same place.
After a quick tour, the hostess asked us what we were planning for our reception, and then she asked us to sign a paper agreeing that the couple was to attend.
It was so weird.
This is a wedding we were told we were not to be present for.
I felt like I had been taken away from the event, not a guest at the wedding but a guest who was there for the wedding and who had been asked to sign the paper.
I could feel the atmosphere change and I was unsure what to expect.
It was a little strange, but we had been married for almost five years, and I had grown up watching weddings and thought the atmosphere would be the same.
But then she looked at me and said, “You don’t want to be here.
You’re a guest.”
It was as if I had stepped out of a dream and was being pulled into reality.
I was completely and utterly terrified.
When I went into the reception I was a bit nervous.
I hadn’t even gone through the ceremony and was just there to do my wedding dress.
The hostess was also not in her element and looked completely out of her depth.
She asked me if I wanted to stay, but I wasn’t going to say no.
My husband and my family were already in the room when I walked in.
“Do you want to stay or do you want a break?” she asked.
I said, No, we want a drink.
Her husband asked if I would like some tea or some water.
I told him I wouldn’t want anything in between the ceremony.
He asked me what I was doing.
Then, she asked me why I had signed the paper and I said I didn’t want it to say anything about me.
We had a chat for a few minutes.
I had already planned to leave the venue, but she asked if it was okay if I went back in.
I said that I didn, but that I wanted a drink and we went upstairs.
The reception was very casual.
There were no big groups of people, there were just a couple of couples and couples and the bride and her husband and her family.
It felt like a wedding for a family.
At the bar, I was struck by how casual everything was.
There was no big line.
There wasn’t a single awkward moment.
There weren’t any awkward people.
The bride and the groom were just happy to be there.
I found that I had developed a bond with these people, and it was all very natural. I didn